Updated: Jun 6
Your rental property is a business. You should have a business mindset at all times in order to be successful. Like all businesses, income minus expenses equals profit. Increasing rental income is fairly straightforward: set the rents as high as the market will allow and keep them current when you have turnover. You should also be taking advantage of the allowable annual rent increase by the province. It may not seem like much (usually under 2%), but every bit helps.
YOU SHOULD BE OPERATING YOUR RENTAL PROPERTY BELOW A 24% OPERATING EXPENSE RATIO (OER)
Reducing operating expenses requires more effort, but is worth it in the long run. Many landlords focus too much on the rental income and overlook their properties operating expenses and how much it affects their bottom line. If you are not at or below 24%, you need to review ALL of your operating expenses and find ways to get the OER down. To calculate your OER: total expenses divided by gross income
Get an insurance quote every couple of years from a new company. Don't get talked into a commercial policy instead of a multi-residential policy. It is a lot cheaper. Make sure you are not paying for coverage that you will likely not ever need. It all adds up!
This is your biggest expense next to property tax and insurance. There are are couple of things you can do to keep the cost down on your heating bill. Change the filter on your furnace every couple of months. Clean and service your boiler or furnace yearly in the off season. Put a lockbox on the thermostat and keep the temperature set at 20 degrees which is the legal minimum in Ontario. Think about ways to make your property more efficient like upgrading windows, doors and insulation.
WATER & HYDRO
To reduce water bills, going low flow is a must: low flow toilets, low flow shower heads and low flow faucet aerators. If you have communal laundry machines then swap them out for coin-operated: a triplex can earn an extra $800 per year with a coin-operated washer and dryer. For hydro bill reduction, you should at the very minimum have LED bulbs in all light fixtures located in all common area. With respect to the exterior or your property I recommend installing led light with a separate photo cell.
Making an effort to keep your operating expenses under control is key to your success!